Phoenix city attorney sends cease-and-desist letter to Trump campaign over ad with police officers

Posted at 7:45 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-01 01:53:39-04

The City of Phoenix has sent a cease and desist letter to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump over its use of city police officers in an ad which recently began airing. 

The letter, from City Attorney Brad Holm, demands the campaign and its affiliates take down the ad from every medium for its portrayal of officers while in the performance of their duties. At issue is an ad called "Movement," which includes a short clip lasting only a few seconds of Phoenix police officers surrounding Trump. In the video, Trump shakes hands with one of the officers. The full 30-second ad is included at the bottom of this story.

"Phoenix has not approved--and will not approve--the creation or use of any media bearing the faces and likenesses of its on-duty police officers in any political advertisement for any political candidate," Holm wrote in the letter. "The officers were unaware they were photographed and videotaped, and they did not consent to the use of their on-duty images in any Trump (or any other) campaign advertisement." 

Holm says the inclusion of the officers in the ad "unmistakably and wrongfully" implies the city and officers support or endorse the Trump campaign. That implication also extends beyond the officers to their uniforms and insignia, which the city controls under copyright.

"As owner of this intellectual property, the City of Phoenix hereby orders the Trump campaign to immediately cease and desist from your unauthorized use of Phoenix Police Department uniforms, bird emblem, police badge, police insignia patch, and all other imagery of official City of Phoenix materials and on-duty employees," Holm wrote. 

A message seeking comment from the Trump campaign was not immediately returned Thursday night.